I have to chuckle sometimes over all the fuss about “raw milk.”
I never heard the term “raw milk” until a few years ago. When I was a kid we knew two kinds of milk: sweet milk and buttermilk. Buttermilk was the milk left after my Granny churned the butter. Sweet milk was the unchurned milk we milked from the cows the previous morning.
But sometimes, like when the cows had eaten too many wild onions, we’d get to drink “store milk.” The thing I liked most about store milk was that it didn’t have any cream in it. When we poured our own milk from the milk jars, we’d blow back the cream while it was pouring. I didn’t like too much cream in my milk and I fretted when it didn’t come out the way I wanted it. But with store milk that wasn’t an issue. You just poured the milk and there was no cream to worry about.
I now know that the reason store milk didn’t have cream was because it was homogenized. Evidently the milk marketers discovered that there were lots of folks who, like the childhood me, didn’t want to see cream or butter flecks in their milk. So they came up with a way to “homogenize” the milk.
If you had asked me then whether store milk was “raw” or not, I would’ve probably said it was. I wouldn’t have guessed that it had been “cooked,” since I knew what it meant to cook milk.
Of course what raw milk advocates want is milk that hasn’t been pastuerized. Since that process involves heating the milk, the milk which hasn’t been heated in that way is called “raw.”
It is ridiculous of course that the government forbids folks from buying and selling unpastuerized milk. In fact, it is an infringement on basic human liberty. But infringing basic human liberties is what our nanny megastate does best. But I digress…
For any who haven’t had the pleasure of drinking milk the way nature intended it, I recommend you give it a try. Just make sure you know the source of the milk and that you drink it promptly. You may or may not prefer it “store milk.” If you’re like me and drink very little milk, it definitely doesn’t make sense to try to find unpastuerized milk–just go with the cooked variety.
But whether we as individuals and families choose raw milk or pastuerized milk, we ought not make criminals out of those who choose differently.